Written by Hannah Blum, author of The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love
To all the people who feel empty right now, this post is for you.
I know the pain of emptiness. One day you are full of everything, and the next day, drained of all emotion. It’s feeling everything and nothing all at the same time. You are uninspired, which for many of us, is the worst part of it all. The person in your reflection is suddenly a stranger. You feel as though you are living in the shadow of the person you used to be.
You do everything you can to rid yourself of this emptiness. You try to explain how you feel, but the only answer that comes to mind is, ‘I don’t know.’ You feel ugly. You feel like the only thing you have to offer anyone is a blank slate of nothingness.
The question you keep asking is, ‘Will I ever get out of this?’ I will tell you the answer. Yes. You. Will. But it’s not in the way that you think.
I am not going to share methods or practices or coping skills with you right now. I am not going to pressure you into feeling something different. Sometimes it’s not about ridding ourselves of the emptiness, because there is nothing to get rid of. It’s not about running away, because there is nothing to run from. What we must do is find a home in the emptiness.
Here is a story I wrote that I want you to read,
The Story Of The Crab and His Empty Home.
One day a crab was going about his daily routine when suddenly something terrible happened. As he crawled back towards the ocean that he once called his home, there was nothing. There was nothing but sand.
The crab began to panic. He cried and cried for days. He crawled further and further, trying to find the ocean once again, but there was nothing. So he sat still in the emptiness.
Then one day, it started raining, and the crab fell into even more despair. He sat there silently and began to slowly dig his claws across the sand with tears flowing down his face, but then something happened again. He looked down and saw that the hole he created was filling up with water from the storm that was meant to drown him. A small tiny spark lit within him, so he kept digging. He made the hole bigger and bigger and bigger. He found shells to put around it, creating something beautiful. Other crabs, who felt lost, came by and joined him. They were inspired.
You see, instead of waiting and praying for the ocean to come back, the crab built a home in the emptiness. He found fullness in it, and although it didn’t reduce the emptiness, he was no longer ashamed. And guess what? One day the ocean came back. The crab was stronger, he was more confident and embraced the sea even more than he did before.
Strength isn’t always about overcoming, sometimes strength is about coming to terms with the place that you are in.
It’s about facing the part of life or the part of yourself that you are trying to overcome. It’s not about living without it, it’s learning to live with it. Instead of forcing yourself out of it, remind yourself of who you are, because although you feel empty, you are still a strong, brilliant person who is capable of creating magic. You are not a stranger to your reflection, you are waiting to find beauty when you are better, when you are healed, when you are full of life again, but there is beauty in your broken.
Write even if it’s painful. Do not try to make sense, make sense out of nonsense. Read and fill yourself with knowledge. Let someone else do the creating for you. Create even if you doubt it. Give to others, because when you give to others you give to yourself.
Take time to be okay with where you are at, vent to your friend, and if you do not have a friend you can be open with, maybe this is a wake-up call for you to stop filling your circle with people who make you feel ashamed.
For some people, emptiness is a phase, and for others, it is a wave of life.
Emptiness will always come in and out, similar to the tides of the ocean, but that’s okay. It is part of the reason you are who you are. A brilliant being that is empathetic and kind.
Look at your pain deep in the eyes and tell it, ‘You are here, and you are not going anywhere for the moment, so I am going to create something beautiful out of you.’
Most importantly, know that you are not alone. Do not be afraid to reach out for help. Do not feel ashamed. You are not wrong, you are not bad, you are human.
Yes, you will get through this, you will always get through it.
Inspired by a dear friend, and a reminder to myself on the days, I feel empty as well. For all of you who feel empty out there.
For more mental health content follow @hannahdblum
At the age of 20, Hannah Blum went from Prom Queen to a mental patient in the blink of an eye, but what she believed would be the end was only just the beginning. In her first book, The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love, Hannah Blum redefines what it means to love yourself and takes readers on an unforgettable journey towards embracing what makes them different.